Guide to Purchasing the Right Workout Shoes
Athletic shoes should be fitted to hold your foot in the position most natural to the movement involved in the activity. Your shoes should give your feet plenty of support and protect them from the pressures they must sustain during the sport you are participating in. They should also give you more traction than a regular shoe. Athletic shoes are made differently from regular shoes in many ways. They have to be may differently to give your feet that extra support and stabilization. That is why you should just throw on some old tennis shoes if you are going to start running regularly. Not all shoes are built the same way and a pair of old tennis shoes may not protect your feet from injury.
Your athletic shoes need to be comfortable and well-constructed. Make sure they are made for use in the activity you are participating in. Wearing an athletic shoe with a good fit will help prevent blisters and other skin irritations from developing on your feet.
If you are not a serious athlete, it isn't as big of a deal. You may can get away with wearing shoes that aren't sports specific. But don't continue wear any kind of footwear beyond its useful life. You should never continue to wear shoes when they are worn out.
Running shoes are made to withstand impact. Tennis shoes are constructed to provide more support and allow for quick movements. Cross training shoes will work fine for a general athletic shoe. A general athletic shoe can be used at the gym or physical education classes or other types of general exercise. General athletic shoes give the wearer more lateral support, but less flexibility than running shoes. Most of them tend to be heavier than running shoes as well, but it isn't really important to have light or flexible shoe for cross-training. Those guidelines are for adults. If your child is playing soccer or baseball or any other sport, the child should wear footwear made for that sport.
Our practice advises wearing sturdily made, well-fitting athletic shoes with leather or canvas uppers that allow them to breathe. The shoe should have flexible soles (they should only be flexible at the ball of the foot), good cushioning, arch supports, and plenty of space for your toes. You can use a well-cushioned sock for reinforcement. We recommend socks with acrylic fiber content so that some sweat is "wicked" away.
As a rule, athletic shoes need to be replaced after one year has passed, whether they are worn out or not, or after they have worn down. They may wear down in less than a year.
The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine advises replacing running or walking shoes after 300 to 500 miles of wear, and replacing aerobic, basketball, and tennis shoes after 45 to 60 hours of wear. Athletic shoes should also be replaced if they show signs of unevenness when placed on a flat surface, display noticeable creasing, and/or when the heel counter breaks down.